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every one did weep and waile, and mone,
But first his sister that Clorinda hight,
The gentlest shepheardesse that lives this day,
Which, least I marre the sweetnesse of the vearse,
THE DOLEFULL LAY OF CLORINDA.*
me, to whom shall I my case complaine,
Shall I unto the heavenly powres it show?
To heavens? ah! they alas! the authors were,
For they foresee what to us happens here,
From them comes good, from them comes also il;
That which they made, who can them warne to spill!
These verses are supposed to have been written by Mary Countess of Pembroke, sister to Sir Philip Sidney.
To men? ah! they alas like wretched bee,
Bound to abide whatever they decree,
Their best redresse is their best sufferance.
How then can they, like wretched, comfort mee, The which no lesse need comforted to bee?
Then to my selfe will I my sorrow mourne,
Woods, hills, and rivers, now are desolate,
What cruell hand of cursed foe unknowne,
Hath cropt the stalke which bore so faire a flowre?
And cleane defaced in untimely howre.
Great losse to all that ever him did see,
Breake now your gyrlonds, O ye shepheards lasses,
Never againe let lasse put gyrlond on.
In stead of gyrlond, weare sad Cypres nowe,
Ne ever sing the love-layes which he made;
Death, the devourer of all worlds delight,
Both you and me, and all the world he quight
Hath robd of ioyance, and left sad annoy.
Joy of the world, and shepheards pride was hee! Shepheards, hope never like againe to see!
Oh Death! that hast us of such riches reft,
Scarse like the shadow of that which he was,
But that immortall spirit, which was deckt.
By soveraine choyce from th' hevenly quires select,
O! what is now of it become aread.1
Ah! no: it is not dead, ne can it die,
And compast all about with roses sweet,
There thousand birds, all of celestiall brood,
And with straunge notes, of him well understood, 75
Whilest in sweet dreame to him presented bee
But he them sees, and takes exceeding pleasure
There liveth he in everlasting blis,
Whilest we here, wretches, waile his private lack,
But live thou there, still happie, happie Spirit,
Thus do we weep and waile, and wear our eies,
WHICH When she ended had, another swaine
And made the Muses in his song to mourne.
And after him full many other moe,2
As everie one in order lov'd him best,
Gan dight themselves t' expresse their inward woe, With dolefull layes unto the time addrest.
The which I here in order will rehearse,
As fittest flowres to deck his mournfull hearse.
1 Hight, called. 2 Moe, more.
3 Dight, prepare.